Class of 2015 donates agamograph as senior gift

District parent Phyllis Anne Stehn, Dean of Students Diana Lygas, class of 2015 adviser Kelsey O’Gorman, Principal Gary Snyder, and Class of 2015 President Severine Stier pose on November 24 for a photograph in front of the agamograph in the PAC lobby. photo: Caroline Smith

District parent Phyllis Anne Stehn, Dean of Students Diana Lygas, class of 2015 adviser Kelsey O’Gorman, Principal Gary Snyder, and Class of 2015 President Severine Stier pose on November 24 for a photograph in front of the agamograph in the PAC lobby. photo: Caroline Smith

On November 24, as students walked through the PAC lobby, they noticed a new addition to the school. On the wall above the side entrance to the auditorium was an agamograph, or a piece of artwork composed of two separate images, that changes from the school motto to a tiger as you walk by. Below the artwork is a plaque, detailing that the piece is a gift from the PHS graduating class of 2015.

“It’s really creative. I like how from different angles, you see different aspects of our culture,” said Teddy Marttila ’17. “One, our motto—Live to Learn, Learn to Live—and then from the other side, our tiger, which is our mascot. So, it shows our school pride, and our dedication to learning.”

At PHS, it is customary for the senior class to organize a gift to the school, such as a piece of art or a bench, with money allocated for this purpose in the senior class budget. “Every year, the senior class is encouraged to present PHS with a gift or a token of our class,” said former Senior Class President Severine Stier ’15. “I wanted to do something that no other senior class did.”

The senior class representatives, including Amara Leonard ’15, Max Feldman ’15, Mary Sutton ’15, and Stier, decided upon the agamograph, after discussion with a district parent. “It’s a pretty unique kind of art, and I thought that it would be a really cool senior gift,” Stier said. “The modern nature is symbolic of how the senior class is going into a new and changing world as we leave. I like how the piece of art has to involve viewer participation, and that it changes meaning as you change position. It’s not just a static piece.”

Although Stier was happy with the final product, she would have liked to have incorporated the skills of fellow students more. “Everyone in college says, ‘Wow, it seems like your high school was super artistic,’” she said. “I wish that we had integrated the artistic abilities and talents of the people in my grade more … so that we could all leave our mark on something.”

Other students supported the idea of a senior gift that allows each class to leave its mark. “I think that each class should have something that they leave behind—something that you can remember them by,” Marttila said.

Stier stressed the importance of showing thanks to a school that remains a significant part of her life, even though she has now moved on to college. “It’s so important for students to give something back. I think that we often don’t appreciate how great Princeton High School is. I can fully attest to that, since I’m now in college, and I feel more than prepared and more than grateful for the teachers I’ve had and the friends that I’ve made. A gift in that way shows our gratitude,” she said.

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